Friday, August 24, 2012

Easy A (2010)

Directed By: Will Gluck

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 92 minutes

Sit back and enjoy the show. Although I had heard good things about this film, I just now got around to seeing it. "Easy A" is a refreshing lighthearted high-school coming-of-age story, complete with all the awkward incidents and accompanying feelings experienced by everyone who is just trying to fit in. I remember high school and I cringe. I think "Easy A" thrives on such past experiences to let us know that high school takes itself way too seriously, considering its harboring the developing minds of awkward adolescents, which is rather funny when you view the scene years later from your living room couch. 

Olive, played by Emma Stone, is a high school girl who studies, does her homework, has some friends, and as she describes it, sort of blends in the with the student body landscape. There is nothing special about her status, until one day she gets caught in a small lie that turns out to have huge consequences - she tells her best friend that she lost her virginity. Of course gossip queen Marianne, played by Amanda Bynes, overhears the entire conversation and we see how the wildfire spreads via rapid text messaging and whispered conversations by the student body. It doesn't take long for Olive to achieve the status of high school slut. The guys love her while the girls hate her. 

So what's a girl to do when she becomes caught up in this scandalous sex rumor? She can either cry and declare her innocence, or she can do what Olive did - embrace it and reap the rewards. In a funny series of "let's not and say we did" scenarios, Olive agrees to let loose with the high school homosexual who is sick and tired of getting beat up all the time, the high school fat kid who will never be touched by a girl because of his girth, and the dweeb who is too smart and socially awkward to even approach girls. In return for Olive's secrecy, she is offered payment in the form of gift cards and coupons, heightening her slut status to that of a high school prostitute. 

As all good things must come to an end, eventually Olive's "business" catches up with her and the lies become too much. At first she was defiant and scoffed at the normal rules bound to all high school students. Why should she conform all the time? Why can't she be different? But as the shame and harsh words keep coming at her like a full military assault, even the hardest walls will eventually come crumbling down and thus we are left with Olive, a damaged emotional train wreck. How much longer can she keep up the lies? At what time do you admit that you're in over your head and have to set things right? 

"Easy A" is not your typical high school movie. If anything, Olive is a girl beyond her years. She is smart, clever, and usually one step ahead of her fellow peers, which makes her character so likable to us. She's the person we can relate to and a part of me envies her ability to stand out in the crowd, which is surely not a stance that I adopted during my high school years. 

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